Celebrate the bounty of Michigan’s autumn harvest. Combine a visit to an orchard, a farm market or a community harvest festival with an overnight stay at a nearby Lake-to-Lake-member bed and breakfast inn. Enjoy crisp fall air by day, a comfy sleep at night and a breakfast in the morning featuring culinary delights made with fresh, seasonal, Michigan-grown produce.
For example, the same day innkeepers at Adventure Inn in North Lakeport snapped a photo of these lush apples at neighboring Port Huron’s Farmers Market, they purchased loads of fresh Michigan produce. The next morning, they served their guests a frittata that included Michigan bell peppers, onions, basil and sweet corn.
“The red peppers were so fresh, when the knife sliced through, a little moisture spritzed onto the cutting board,” innkeeper Nicholas DeGrazia said.
Stay the night at family-friendly Parish House Inn in Ypsilanti after you spend the afternoon at Wiard’s Cider Mill and Apple Orchard. An agri-entertainment park, Wiard’s features orchards, a cider mill, u-pick apples and pumpkins, a corn maze and a Country Store and Bakery. If you think the kids will be bored, think again: they will love the pony rides, Old West hayrides, petting farm, miniature golf, play areas, a haunted barn and more.
Kalamazoo House is delighted to host guests attending the Olde Tyme Harvest Festival, October 2 – 3 at Scotts Mill County Park in Scotts, located in Kalamazoo County. Check it out: featuring hayrides to the pumpkin patch, antique tractors, blacksmithing, flour demonstrations and a whole lot more, this festival looks like a ton of fun.
While you’re in the Kalamazoo area, don’t miss shopping the Kalamazoo Farmer’s Market, brimming with all the season’s best.
Then again, if you’re in Northern Michigan, sleep in peace at Grand Victorian Inn in Bellaire after a day spent frolicking at Fiske Orchards or Clam Lake Orchards. Up North, harvest time means celebrating with music, sampling home-grown fruit, drinking freshly-squeezed cider and picking the perfect Halloween pumpkin.
Speaking of pumpkins, Carol Ann Hall, Innkeeper at Inn at the Park B&B in South Haven, offers her guests a “Pumpkin Pie Dip” recipe that’s become a house favorite. Try it on your friends and family.
Pumpkin Pie Dip
1 package (8oz) cream cheese softened
2 cups powdered sugar
2 cups canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
Beat cream cheese and sugar at medium speed until smooth.
Add pumpkin, cinnamon, and ginger, beating well.
Cover and chill. Serve with apple slices.
A great place to stay after you play at Meckley’s Flavor Fruit Farm is the Munro House B&B and Spa in Jonesville. Meckley’s offers an apple barn, cider mill, hayrides, pumpkin patch, bakery, gift shop and a nine-acre corn MAIZE. It’s located just west of Highways 12 and 127.
In not-too-distant Tecumseh, celebrate the 17th Annual Appleumpkin Festival, October 9-10. After enjoying midway rides and carnival games, Antique Street Fair and Flea Market, Arts and Crafts Show, a “Make-it Take-it Scarecrow Tent, live entertainment and more, rest and refresh at Dewey Lake Manor in nearby Brooklyn, the heart of the “Irish Hills.”
These are just a few of the Michigan Lake to Lake Bed and Breakfast Association-member inns located near fall harvest activities. To find more member B&Bs near the activities described in this blog, visit laketolake.com. Use the function on the home page that allows you to select a milage radius from the city of your choice. To find inns all across Michigan, select from the various “Find a B&B” options.
Last but not least, many would agree that cauliflower, which is a healthy, inexpensive vegetable now at the height of its season, is about the most boring and least versatile vegetable on the planet. Try this recipe as either an appetizer or side dish: it will transform you into a cauliflower lover after just one bite:
Spiced Caramelized Cauliflower Florets
1 large head cauliflower (about 3 lbs) cut into florets
4T unsalted butter – melted
1 t sugar
1/2 t salt
1/2 t freshly ground pepper
1/2 t sweet (Hungarian) paprika
1/2 t hot (regular) paprika
1/4 t cinnamon
Preheat over to 500 degrees.
In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower with the butter.
In a small bowl, combine the seasonings, then toss with the buttered cauliflower.
Spread on a baking sheet in a single layer.
Bake for 20 minutes, stirring one or twice or until crisp-tender and caramelized.
Mound the cauliflower on a serving platter and sprinkle with coarse salt.
Serve hot or warm. Enjoy!
(From “Just a Little Cookbook,” compiled by Barbara Hranilovich.)